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Whitworth to host National Book Award finalist Jess Walter as writer-in-residence

February 17, 2015

Award-winning local author Jess Walter has been named Whitworth University’s writer-in-residence for the spring semester. During his residency, Walter will participate in two free events on campus to which the public is invited to attend.

The first event with Walter will take place on Tuesday, Feb. 24, at 7 p.m. in the Robinson Teaching Theatre in Weyerhaeuser Hall. Walter will read from some of his works; the reading will be followed by a Q&A discussion led by Thom Caraway, assistant professor of English at Whitworth. The conversation will touch on Walter’s relationship with Spokane and what inspires and motivates him as a writer.

For his second public event on campus, Walter will present a lecture on Tuesday, March 31, at 7 p.m. in the Music Building Recital Hall.

“Jess Walter was chosen to be our writer-in-residence because he’s both a Spokanite and a nationally known and respected writer,” Caraway says. “For the 125th anniversary of Whitworth, we wanted someone who could really enrich the campus environment, and Jess will certainly do just that.”

Walter is the author of six novels, a collection of short stories, and one non-fiction book. He has received numerous awards and recognitions for his work, including the Edgar Allan Poe Award, and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. He was named a finalist for the National Book Award in 2006 for his novel The Zero.

During Walter’s residency at Whitworth, members of the Spokane and Whitworth communities are invited to read his newest book, a collection of short stories entitled We Live in Water, since it will be the focus of conversation for his public-speaking events on campus. Copies are available for sale in the Whitworth University bookstore.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian church. The university, which has an enrollment of nearly 3,000 students, offers 60 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.


Annie Stillar, English department program assistant, Whitworth University, (509) 777-3253 or

Lucas Beechinor, media relations manager, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703 or